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Sous Vide Log


Porthos
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It has been recommended to me, and I like the idea, of keeping a log of my attempts at sous vide. I don't handwrite anything if I can avoid it. I am big into using tables in Word. Here is my first cut at creating a log. I can see adding to it as I refine my technique, but for now I am trying to track the basics. Considering that this is for a sous vide beginner, is there anything major that I should include?

 

 

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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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I bore my friends on Facebook with the experiments. :D. Quick brainstorm.

 

Cut, weight, start from fridge cold or not, vacuum or zipper bag, treatment (e.g. marinade / brining), temperature, duration, texture, if you finished it after (e.g. searing), whether you liked it! I don't note all of that stuff (I know what I will get if I ask Sainsbury's for a chicken breast for example), but that's a starter for 10 I would think. Others will chime in I am sure.

 

If you have bought a Sousvide Supreme Demi, I'll just say I've personally found their recommended temperatures much too high for results I like. So it's worth researching a particular thing you want to cook, here and elsewhere :)

 

Good luck!

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Apparently Invision didn't think much of the picture of the log sheet I cobbed up, which did show up in the post preview. Here it is again.

 

Sous Vide Log.jpg

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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A log is a great idea,  I would add some entries for pre sous vide activities -  sometimes I sear or smoke before sealing and sous vide, or brine before sous vide,  I would also add an entry for whether the protein had been frozen before sous vide.  Also add  entry for whether you froze it after sous vide before finishing,  otherwise, you are good to go.  The main things are time and temp, since they have the biggest impact.  I like your conclusions line, though it gets tough to accurately describe moistness in words.

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You covered almost everything and I think Barry covered the items you missed. You may want to consider setting the format up so it's easy to sort by type of meat or whatever. Right now your log is small so it's easy to find what you're looking for but after a while the list will get very long and be nice to group together similar items to compare how you cook them and how it turned out.

I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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Normally I would add "Shape" to "Thickness". Most often the shape would be determined by the food type, but at times not, i.e. a beef tenderloin can be cooked whole, so its shape would be "cylinder" or cut into medallions so it would be "steak-like". The time to temperatue depends on both thickness & shape.

 

Temperature is also not enough for me. I would track both water-temperature and target-core-temperature. They are almost equal if you use an equilibrium strategy, but different in Delta-T.

 

Also, the cooking/safety strategy: either time-to-temperature, pasteurize-to-core, or pasteurize-surface, if you use the strategies defined by SousVideDash.

 

Plus, what Tere has already said.

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Rather than using tables in Word, I would tend to put this type of information into a spreadsheet, where it is more easily regrouped.

 

So, using your example, I would put Meat, Thickness, Seasoning, Temp, Time, Finish and Conclusion in the top row, and fill entries below it.

 

I would also add the date.

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When I am ready to move on from my tables in Word I will most like move over to a database system using Access.  I have done many "databases" using spreadsheet programs and not fond of them. I also am very anal about how I format data (it's the engineer/programmer in me).

 

I did add date.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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ChicagoTodd and I developed an online system for something like this at www.modernistcookingdb.com. We haven't worked on it for a while, but there is potential there to update it to accomodate some of these suggestions.

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